John performs the song 'Pinball Wizard' in giant boots while he becomes more and more infuriated by the lead character Tommy, the 'deaf, dumb and blind kid' who 'sure plays a mean pinball'.
He discussed his movie appearances in a new article, saying:
"I’ve been very successful writing songs and soundtracks for films. But I’ve never been very comfortable with seeing myself on a big screen. Amazingly, the director, Hal Ashby, offered me the male lead in Harold and Maude in 1971, but I turned it down: I loved the script, but it seemed like the wrong thing to do at the time. I’ve played myself in a couple of films, none of them exactly Oscar winners: Spice World and a Disney thing called The Country Bears. I suppose my one famous film role was in Tommy, although it didn’t really involve acting, just trying not to fall over while wearing a pair of four-and-a-half-foot Doc Martens,"
He said he initially rejected the idea of the part when he was first offered it. "They contacted Rod Stewart and I told him to turn it down as well. ‘I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole, dear.’ Then Pete Townshend from the Who rang me and I felt like I couldn’t say no. Rod was absolutely furious: ‘You bitch! You did that on purpose!’ I’ve obviously spent a significant proportion of my life deliberately trying to annoy Rod Stewart – that’s very much the nature of our friendship – but that time it was completely accidental."